Remember the time A.J. Burnett threw a no-hitter (while every Padres position player reached base)
A.J. Burnett once threw a no-hitter with nine walks
The only stipulation to throwing a no-hitter is that the pitcher may not allow any hits. It isn't like a perfect game, in which the entire slate has to be clean -- there's nothing about a no-hitter that says batters can't reach base. Theoretically, a pitcher could allow 100 walks in a game, lose magnificently and still qualify for a no-hitter. No one's ever done that, specifically, but there have been a few no-hitters in MLB history with a surplus of baserunners.
Like A.J. Burnett's 14 years ago.
As a Marlins starter, Burnett threw his no-hitter against the Padres on May 12, 2001. And yet, the eight Padres in the starting lineup -- not including pitcher Wascar Serrano -- reached base during the game. Burnett walked every starting position player at least once (Ryan Klesko and Bubba Trammell twice) except second baseman Damian Jackson, whom he hit with a pitch in the fourth inning.
Hey -- a no-hitter is a no-hitter.
Burnett finished with seven strikeouts and 129 total pitches. It remains the no-hitter with the second-most walks allowed in history, after Jim Maloney's in 1965 in which 10 batters earned a free pass. Moving down the list, there have been five no-hitters with eight walks recorded, including Nolan Ryan's from 1974. That's the beauty of a no-hitter. However you get there, all that matters is that no one got a hit.
To paraphrase Leo Tolstoy, perfect games are all alike. Burnett's no-hitter is a no-hitter in its own way.